Movie Tip – Reign Over Me


I had been wanting to watch this film for years and finally got to it the other night. Besides the fact that one of my favorite actors (Don Cheadle) is in it, I was pleasantly surprised by Adam Sandler’s excellent performance in a dramatic role. The reason I think the film is so important is because it addresses Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and specifically, the forgotten people who were left in the wake of 9/11, having lost family members and their entire lives from the tragic events that took place 16 years ago.

PTSD is not addressed nearly enough in the media, yet many people suffer from it due to both physical and psychological trauma, so I appreciated that this film not only takes on this difficult yet important topic, but that it does so with such tenderness, humor and honesty.

I love that it reminds us that we’d best not judge anyone, least of all the homeless, or people who may have homes, but have no sense of family or belonging–those who wander lost and misunderstood, trying to forget the tragedies they have experienced. From the soldiers returning from war who aren’t given adequate mental help for the psychological wounds they carry due to the horrors they’ve witnessed, to those who have experienced untold personal horrors–there are many walking wounded among us. Instead of judging, we need to try and imagine what led a person to the place they are now. Even if we don’t always have financial means to help them, we can always be kind.

I hope that films like this continue to be made and may they remind us that we are all wounded in some way, and that we aren’t here to judge, only to love. Don Cheadle’s character, Alan Johnson, is the epitome of a true friend–a quiet, unsung hero who never gives up reaching out to his old college pal to help him find healing. Let’s be like Alan Johnson.

IMDB link for Reign Over Me.

 

 

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN…?

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What do you do when the hardships you face seem like too much to bear? It could be something very serious happening to a loved one, it could be your health, it could be your living situation, it could be your marriage…it could be all of the above at once. Everything is shrieking at you to pay attention to it, to tend to it, to do something, for God’s sake!

So what do you do?

Honestly, I can’t tell you what you should do, but I can tell you the only thing I know to do, the only thing that makes sense, though it goes against everything the exterior world clamors…

For God’s sake (and my own and others’)…I get very, very still. I go inside…into the inner chamber of my heart…and there, I find God waiting for me. There, in the stillness, in the quiet, “There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen,” as Rumi wisely said.

And so I listen.

And I hear a call above the waves and wind shouting, “Be still!” (It’s incredible how loud that inaudible voice can be.) That call is the anchor that draws the little boat of my soul back into the only harbor that gives peace…God’s presence.

There, my thoughts are calmed. There, the injustices that stare me in the face lose their power. There, answers are found. There, my heartbeat is restored to a normal rate.

There are some extremely frightening things going on in my life right now, in the life of someone I love (life or death things not related to illness) so being able to even sit down and write this is the only proof I need that it’s true–there is power in stillness, there is power in faith and hope, and there is relief from fear in God’s love. I don’t feel it every minute, but that says more about my wandering focus than about God.

There is a time to do all we can to work, to help, to tend to…and there is a time to be still, to trust and to wait for the answers to come. It is a very fine art to find the balance between these two and to live within them.

I do not know of anything that is made better by anxiety and fear. I only know of all the things that are made better by trust and love.

 

– Monique Amado

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* Image credit: Christian Schloe

THE PRISON OF YOUR MIND

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Hi friends,

If you don’t know who Sean Stephenson is, you’re about to meet an endearing, gentle man who has more obstacles to overcome than most, but instead of complaining about it, he is taking his challenges and turning them into inspiration.

May you be inspired by his strength and wisdom in this short TED talk.

“Never believe a prediction that doesn’t empower you.” – Sean

Wishing you a great rest of the week!

Blessings and peace,

Monique

**If you’d like to talk with me, you can schedule an appointment by following this link for a 30-minute call by Skype or phone (no charge) or fill out the contact form below. I’d be happy to hear from you.

Remembering Your Belovedness (with Henri Nouwen)

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Dear friends,

The best way to value ourselves is to remember, and bask in, who God says we are and how much God values us. If we stay grounded there in that Great Love, it becomes less and less likely that we will devalue ourselves or allow others to do so.

This is an old talk by Henri Nouwen which I think will help you, as his words have helped me, to stay connected to who God says you are. It will strengthen you in all your inner and outer dealings in this world. I listen to the entire thing at least once or twice a year to refresh my memory and keep me strong.


In case you don’t know who Henri Nouwen is, he was a grace-infused human being who lived and worked among the L’Arche Community and said that these lovely people taught him more about God’s acceptance than anyone else. He said this was due to the fact that they did not know or understand anything about his degrees, his accolades or his accomplishments (let alone his failures and weaknesses), but only knew him by his heart.

Believe me, time listening to these words will be time well spent.

Wishing you God’s peace & security…

Monique

Why I Write, Part Two

What a great post.

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If you’re a writer struggling to get published (or published again) or wrestling with the utility or non-utility of self-publishing, you may log onto this blog and think, Oh, Pressfield’s got it made; he’s had real-world success; he’s a brand.

J.K. Rowling has earned her spot on the Elite List

J.K. Rowling has earned her spot on the Elite List

Trust me, it ain’t necessarily so.

I don’t expect to be reviewed by the New York Times. Ever. The last time was 1998 for Gates of Fire. That’s eighteen years ago. The War of Art was never reviewed, The Lion’s Gate never. My other seven novels? Never.

I’ve got a new one, The Knowledge, coming in a month or two. It will be reviewed, I’m certain, by no one.

If I want to retain my sanity, I have to banish such expectations from my thinking. I cannot permit my professional or artistic self-conception to be dependent…

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When Hope is Lost (A Lesson from Birds)…

Dear friends,

This is a beautiful post by a fellow blogger. Hang on to it for winter. You / I might need to read it again. I hope it encourages you and reminds you of some powerful truths and points of wisdom.

Blessings,
Monique

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I have begun the process of changing my mind about birds.

Sure, you may not find a stranger first sentence than that, but those closest to me know that I have this unreasonable phobia of the feathered friend. It has something to do with a mother bird dive-bombing my head to protect her nest when I was five. And no, to answer your question, I was not bothering her nest. I was simply going next door to a friend’s house. But, there is no reasoning with a mother bird. Anyway, my neurosis aside, I am slowly taking steps to rediscovering the beauty (or some redeeming quality) in birds.

An Indiana winter can be brutal and bone-chilling. And it is not made any more bearable by the local meteorologists who giddily, and a bit too affectionately, begin referring to it as a Polar Vortex. The tragedy is they don’t realize that…

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